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Switch to Forum Live View Global influence of US Constitution declining
2 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 9:27PM #31
rabello
Posts: 20,955

Mar 4, 2012 -- 8:59PM, solfeggio wrote:


Let me see, now.  Didn't candidate Obama promise to close gitmo?  He didn't, though, did he?  And how many people who are held there have not had access to a lawyer?  How many have not even been told what they are being accused of?


They're common people, aren't they?  And they're supposed to have rights that were outlined in your Consitution, right?  So, where are those rights?


That's just one example that comes to mind, but there are plenty more showing that the common people's rights are being ignored in favour of the big corporations.  It's domination by the few, isn't it?  And that power elite sets the rules by which everybody else must live.




You are right, solfeggio, what I was going to write (and you beat me to it, basically) was that the first decade of the 21st century shows that not even Americans are influenced by the US Constitution.  Not when we have a Unitary Executive who can sign secret signing statements and ignore the international treaties American helped write and to which America is a signatory.


And it's not just Gitmo. There are those secret black sites where some unidentified suspects were killed via torture, with their deaths being ruled homicides, and without charge, trial, or sentencing.   What you will hear in response, and in spite of the Geneva Convention and the UN Convention against torture (which was signed by Ronald Reagan), is that constitutional rights only apply to American citizens, which of course doesn't address what was done to US citizens like Manual Padilla or the American cleric in Yemen who was recently assassinated along with an unknown number of collaterally-damaged human shields.   Then, there's the Patriot Act, which was reaffirmed by the Democratically-controlled Congress and signed by Obama.  Then there's the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling which affirms the "personhood" (there's that word again!) of nonhuman corporations!  Let's not even talk about how the right to have any kind of gun, and as many as one wants, supercedes an American child's right to live and be safe while he/she is in school.  


The rights that are outlined in the US Constitution were intended for white, male, land owners.   It took blood and busted heads, and dead bodies, to win those rights for almost everyone, and American Indians still live in impoverished reservations in the most inhospitable of environments in America!  And at least 2 million Iraqi's have been reduced to permanent refugees without a home, thanks to the "war" that was never declared by Congress, as mandated in the US Constitution. 


And other countries have different ideas?  who would have thunk it?

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 9:45PM #32
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Mar 4, 2012 -- 9:27PM, rabello wrote:


Mar 4, 2012 -- 8:59PM, solfeggio wrote:


Let me see, now.  Didn't candidate Obama promise to close gitmo?  He didn't, though, did he?  And how many people who are held there have not had access to a lawyer?  How many have not even been told what they are being accused of?


They're common people, aren't they?  And they're supposed to have rights that were outlined in your Consitution, right?  So, where are those rights?


That's just one example that comes to mind, but there are plenty more showing that the common people's rights are being ignored in favour of the big corporations.  It's domination by the few, isn't it?  And that power elite sets the rules by which everybody else must live.




You are right, solfeggio, what I was going to write (and you beat me to it, basically) was that the first decade of the 21st century shows that not even Americans are influenced by the US Constitution.  Not when we have a Unitary Executive who can sign secret signing statements and ignore the international treaties American helped write and to which America is a signatory.


And it's not just Gitmo. There are those secret black sites where some unidentified suspects were killed via torture, with their deaths being ruled homicides, and without charge, trial, or sentencing.   What you will hear in response, and in spite of the Geneva Convention and the UN Convention against torture (which was signed by Ronald Reagan), is that constitutional rights only apply to American citizens, which of course doesn't address what was done to US citizens like Manual Padilla or the American cleric in Yemen who was recently assassinated along with an unknown number of collaterally-damaged human shields.   Then, there's the Patriot Act, which was reaffirmed by the Democratically-controlled Congress and signed by Obama.  Then there's the Citizens United Supreme Court ruling which affirms the "personhood" (there's that word again!) of nonhuman corporations!  Let's not even talk about how the right to have any kind of gun, and as many as one wants, supercedes an American child's right to live and be safe while he/she is in school.  


The rights that are outlined in the US Constitution were intended for white, male, land owners.   It took blood and busted heads, and dead bodies, to win those rights for almost everyone, and American Indians still live in impoverished reservations in the most inhospitable of environments in America!  And at least 2 million Iraqi's have been reduced to permanent refugees without a home, thanks to the "war" that was never declared by Congress, as mandated in the US Constitution. 


And other countries have different ideas?  who would have thunk it?




Too bizarre by far. My father's mother was a suffragette--and as my daughter explained a white linen (table setting) one at that. I never ate on other than white linen at their home. If we stayed for dinner and supper on Sunday we also had napkin rings for our linen napkins. Not all of us came from impoverished backgrounds. My grandchildren will be fifth-generation college degreed. Ocassionally some of this needs to be mentioned. No one in my family had slaves but my grandparents did have domestic help, well cared for.


As a nation we make mistakes--most nations do. I've travelled the world over but I am still happy to be American. And I do put a bit of money where my mouth is to support those with less.


 



 

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 9:54PM #33
Fodaoson
Posts: 11,149

Obama issued an executive order to close Guantanamo. Congress has three times used the Defense appropriation bill( including the current one) to  forbid the closing. Executive orders do not override congressional action.


 Military prisoners on foreign soil do not have constitutional rights because they are outside  of a US  State, territory or possession . That was a reason for holding them at Guantanamo, it is not US soil and the Cuban Government is not a diplomatically recognized government..

“I seldom make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.” Edward Gibbon
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 10:05PM #34
mountain_man
Posts: 39,147

Mar 4, 2012 -- 8:59PM, solfeggio wrote:

Let me see, now.  Didn't candidate Obama promise to close gitmo?  He didn't, though, did he?


Because you know full well that he could not act on that alone. The Regressives need an enemy in order to scare the ignorant. They would not let Obama close Gitmo. They would not let the UNTRIED prisoners be transferred.


And how many people who are held there have not had access to a lawyer?  How many have not even been told what they are being accused of?


That's something you'll have to ask Bush. He had them put there, not Obama.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 10:10PM #35
rabello
Posts: 20,955

The Bush Administration did, indeed, think it could take civilian "arrestees" from anywhere around the world, call them "combatants", treat them like prisoners of war, ignore the Geneva Conventions and the Convention of torture because he didn't call them "prisoners of war", stick them in cages indefinitely in a place like Cuba, torture them to exact false conventions, and that they'd be shielded from the American Justice system because it was Cuba, but repeatedly got overruled by the Supreme Court of the US.  Thank whom or whatever for that.   But then, he and his servants thought the Geneva Conventions were "quaint," anyway.  Got shot down by the Supreme Court on that belief, too.


Article VI of the US Constitution states:


This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding. LINK


The Democrats didn't try very hard to close Gitmo when they got the chance, even after all the yakking they did about it during the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns.  It remains the biggest disappointment of the Obama/Democrats' broken campaign promises. They were just blowing smoke out their back ends to get votes.


Since America signed both the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against torture, those prisoners do have constitutional rights, and the Supreme Court ruled they even possess habeas corpus rights!


Edit: checking for out of bound post

Moderated by Beliefnet_community on Mar 05, 2012 - 02:20PM
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2 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 10:22PM #36
rabello
Posts: 20,955

Mar 4, 2012 -- 10:05PM, mountain_man wrote:


Mar 4, 2012 -- 8:59PM, solfeggio wrote:

Let me see, now.  Didn't candidate Obama promise to close gitmo?  He didn't, though, did he?


Because you know full well that he could not act on that alone. The Regressives need an enemy in order to scare the ignorant. They would not let Obama close Gitmo. They would not let the UNTRIED prisoners be transferred.




Wasn't just the "regressives."  Even Barbara Boxer said, when push came to shove, "we" couldn't have "those people" on American soil, even in the SuperMax.   Then Obama came along and said some of them would have to continue to be detained even if found "not guilty" and that there had to be a place to house them.   He gave up on the his pre-election stand to hold real trials in civilian court pretty quickly post-election. And of course, he decided that "we" should look forward and, basically forget and fogive = no investigations. 

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 11:21PM #37
solfeggio
Posts: 9,130

I do have to interject a couple of comments here that pertain to the discussion.  We've visited the States, albeit some years ago now, and our experiences with average Americans have always been cordial and pleasant.  For example, I still remember the warm, welcoming smiles of the customs agents at LAX when they asked us about our passports.


Then, a couple we know spent a month in America recently on holiday, and they went all over the place, from the Grand Canyon to New York.  When they got back, we asked them all about their trip, and they had only kind words to say about the Americans they met.  Everybody was so friendly and  helpful.


Another couple of our acquaintance also spent a holiday in the States, and they had the same things to say regarding the average people they met.  The woman said that it seemed so strange that, on the one hand, the people were so nice and so filled with good will, and on the other hand the government seems so cold and cruel.


This is what it comes down to, of course.  People are people wherever you go, and they all want the same things.  But governments get in the way. 


We think of the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt as a government that really was looking out for the welfare of the people, but that of the Bushes as being quite the opposite.  We read that Lyndon Johnson really did try to push civil rights, but that he ruined his reputation by getting involved in Viet Nam.  President Eisenhower warned against letting the power elite get out of hand, but succeeding presidents ignored those warnings.


When Mr. Obama was elected, our family were so happy for America, getting a decent guy at last after the disatrous Bush years.  And he does seem to be a decent guy.


I didn't realise that he was prevented from closing Gitmo.  I would have thought that a presidential decree would have been all it takes.


Possibly, his problems have to do with the fact that he's not really an insider, as was LBJ.  I think that an LBJ could have got Gitmo closed.

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 11:26PM #38
jane2
Posts: 14,295

Mar 4, 2012 -- 10:22PM, rabello wrote:


Mar 4, 2012 -- 10:05PM, mountain_man wrote:


Mar 4, 2012 -- 8:59PM, solfeggio wrote:

Let me see, now.  Didn't candidate Obama promise to close gitmo?  He didn't, though, did he?


Because you know full well that he could not act on that alone. The Regressives need an enemy in order to scare the ignorant. They would not let Obama close Gitmo. They would not let the UNTRIED prisoners be transferred.




Wasn't just the "regressives."  Even Barbara Boxer said, when push came to shove, "we" couldn't have "those people" on American soil, even in the SuperMax.   Then Obama came along and said some of them would have to continue to be detained even if found "not guilty" and that there had to be a place to house them.   He gave up on the his pre-election stand to hold real trials in civilian court pretty quickly post-election. And of course, he decided that "we" should look forward and, basically forget and fogive = no investigations. 




So vote for a Republican.


What on earth do you really know about the Federal Justice system?? Not much.




 

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2 years ago  ::  Mar 04, 2012 - 11:39PM #39
rabello
Posts: 20,955

Mar 4, 2012 -- 11:21PM, solfeggio wrote:


When Mr. Obama was elected, our family were so happy for America, getting a decent guy at last after the disatrous Bush years.  And he does seem to be a decent guy.


I didn't realise that he was prevented from closing Gitmo.  I would have thought that a presidential decree would have been all it takes.


Possibly, his problems have to do with the fact that he's not really an insider, as was LBJ.  I think that an LBJ could have got Gitmo closed.




He took a lot of flak, mostly from Republicans, but Democrats didn't stand up for it, either.  He could have closed it with an Executive Order but had no place to house the 30 or so that were going to be tried, if they couldn't be held within the boundaries of the US.   Closing Gitmo didn't mean setting the detainees free. Back then, the plan was to try them in real trials in civilian court, but the DoJ caved on that one, too, and those for whom there is evidence will be tried by military tribunal. 


Nonetheless, he has, in effect, legitimized most of the Bush Doctrine by now, and whether that's because he actually believed in the Bush Doctrine so much that he patterned the Obama Doctrine after it, or didn't have the power of an insider, who knows?   He has significantly increased the use of unmanned drone bombings over and above Bush and that's not due to being an outsider.


I think he just got a lot of assumed credit for being antiwar when he wasn't/isn't antiwar.





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2 years ago  ::  Mar 05, 2012 - 5:00AM #40
shmuelgoldstein
Posts: 2,330

Mar 4, 2012 -- 2:34AM, CharikIeia wrote:

... It is very weird to see a people in the 21st century try living by a document forged in the 18th, basically.



Why?

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